A countrywide social movement to gauge the limitations and extent to which parents are committed to ensuring that the girl child attains an education is underway.
The social movement is carried out by Plan International Rwanda through mobile road shows where community views regarding the limitations and proposed solutions are collected from the general public and documented in an upgraded database. The international NGO advocates for accessibility and retention of girl child education globally.
At the end of the social movement, the obtained results will be incorporated into an interactive map to be presented on the International Girl Child day slated for October 11, 2012.
The online interactive map feature uploading of community pledges as a visual way to demonstrate is the country’s commitment to reduce barriers to quality education for girls.
The official in charge of Gender at Plan International Rwanda, Katherine Nichol, said her organisation would identify areas Rwandan parents feel their daughters need support so as to curtail the drop out rate.
“Once the barriers to girls’ quality education are known, relevant authorities can then make appropriate and adequate planning towards meeting these needs,” she said.
The organisation’s communication officer, Alice Rwema, said that the social movement is part of a four year campaign in all countries that Plan International operates in and focuses on reducing barriers to quality education for girls in a safe and secure environment as well as empowering them to become active citizens.
During one of the road shows, a parent from Musanze District, Alphonsine Murekatete noted that despite the abolition of school fees, unvarying poverty and social cultural factors among a section of village residents remain barriers to girls’ education.
“Initially, girls may be allowed to go to school but for any reasons, maintaining them there would be questionable, especially if it is at the expense of their brothers,” she pointed out.
She explained that under normal circumstances, in extremely poor families, the retention of girls in schools begins to decline faster than that of boys from the third grade.
Source: The New Times